Written by Michael Pittman
Oct 01, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Totally nostalgic and for the 2500 or so folks in the crowd who grew up in the 70s and 80s it couldn’t get any better than this. Soft rock and easy listening with even a bit of (dare I say it) disco thrown in was the order of the evening and I can think of no two troubadours better suited to the task than these two.

Boz Scaggs began his career in the company of none other than Steve Miller and appeared on Miller’s 1st two albums before Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner assisted him in getting a deal with Atlantic Records in 1968. In the next two decades Scaggs would release 20 discs with 1976’s Silk Degrees reaching #2 on Billboard’s top 200 lists. Not too shabby for the son of a travelling salesman from Plano, Tx.

Michael McDonald..or rather Dr. McDonald came up through the ranks of Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers in the 70s and early 80s before embarking on his own solo career with the release of If That’s What It Takes in 1983. I Keep Forgetting from that first release ran up to #2 on Billboard’s top 100 and since then has won 5 Grammys and and just this year was given an honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.

Boz, 69, brought the lights up on the first set with What Can I Say from 1976s’ Silk Degrees and JoJo from 1980s’ project Middleman which brought an enthusiastic response from the crowd with some dancing in the rows and aisles. The dancing would come and go as the night wore on even through McDonald’s set. The set seemed to lag a little on the next 2 songs Some Change and Desire, but picked back up again the rockabilly Sick and Tired(Come on Home) and into Georgia (Silk Degrees).

He had a pretty strong show so far and ended with two smash hits Look What You’ve Done and Lido, but I’m not sure what happened with Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a crowd pleaser and a strong song for backup vocalist Monet, but I don’t think he needed to dedicate over 10 minutes to a cover song. Boz is practically a household name with 20 albums, why would he digress?

McDonald came on seated front and center behind his piano with You Belong to Me which is a Carly Simon co-write and kept up the soft rock pace with You Keep Me Runnin from his heady Doobie Brothers days. He had no trouble connecting with the audience almost from the start and following on with Sweet Freedom and I keep Forgetting which was his first smash hit after having started his solo career.

The band was on the last leg of a months long tour and was tight and perfectly on que, but seemed to be content to lay back and turn out the music. Solos were dead on and talented, but seemed to be geared towards smooth rather than energetic.

McDonald was mesmerizing with Doobie hits Minute by Minute and Taking it to the Streets which alone were worth the trip to me because I remember those dayyysssss. His performance was solid and real…a real showman.

As an encore, or in space usually provided for an encore both came on which promised to be a real treat and really turned into one in the final 3 songs of the night Drowning in a Sea of Love, You Never Can Tell and It’s Alright. Those 3 totally rocked the Verizon. The 1st song of the encore set however, didn’t convince me. I’ve heard various versions of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (which in my mind is one of his signature songs and perhaps my favorite), but had I not known the name of the song this night I would not have recognized it. It was good, so very good that there were 3 more songs to go and they more than redeemed themselves. Two giants like this shouldn’t have to redeem themselves in any show anywhere in my mind though.

That said it was a great night of music and probably the last time Boz will make a tour unfortunately. I can’t close without mentioning the silver-haired grandmother two rows in front of me that was dancing like a teenager and obviously having the time of her life! She had some moves man! Success is measured in a lot of different ways isn’t it?